City Begins Positioning New "Drop-and-Stop" Barriers Ahead of Rose Parade

Published : Monday, December 23, 2019 | 5:43 AM

Above, Archer 1200 "hostile vehicle mitigation" barriers are seen along Colorado Boulevard on December 21, 2019. At right, an online video shows their effectiveness in stopping vehicles.

Local law enforcement officials will employ new barriers during New Year’s festivities to prevent car and truck attacks.

For the first time, Archer 1200 barriers will be used at stadium and key parade locations instead of water-filled barricades.

The jagged-toothed, heavy steel barriers are sprouting along Colorado Boulevard as workers move into higher gear for Rose Parade preparations.

Online videos viewed by Pasadena Now revealed that drivers ramming the barriers didn’t make out well. The collision caused severe damage to the vehicle, which went airborne after colliding with the barriers at 30 miles per hour.

The barriers stop vehicles yet maintain pedestrian and emergency access.

“Cities know there is a real need for protection,” said Peter Whitford, CEO of Meridian Rapid Defense Group on the company’s website. “We designed our product to address the real technology void in HVM (hostile vehicle mitigation). Beyond the first step which is certified performance, our barriers offer ease of deployment and flexibility. This allows law enforcement to place the barriers where needed and react to any change in threat level.”

Workers have begun to pre-position the new barriers along Colorado Boulevard. Here, the barriers are seen along Colorado Boulevard at Oak Knoll Avenue.

The reinforced steel barrier was used last year at the main entrance of the Rose Bowl Stadium.

This year, the barriers will be used for the Rose Parade and at Rose Bowl Stadium as police deploy more than 65 barrier units across four high-access locations. Placement of the barriers restricts non-authorized access but also allows for entry of emergency vehicles if required.

According to a city contract, the city will pay $110,000 per year for up to five years for the barriers.

After one year of the contract, the Pasadena Police Department will review the effectiveness of the use of the anti-terrorist vehicle barriers along the Rose Parade route, and could recommend an extension, the report said.

Law enforcement agencies began deploying water barriers at critical points of the Rose Parade after a driver deliberately drove a truck into the Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin in December, 2016. Twelve people were killed and 56 others injured in the attack.

After that attack and one in Nice that killed more than 80 people, researchers tested the effectiveness of concrete barriers to protect against terrorist truck attacks – and found them to be close to useless as the truck effortlessly knocked the barriers aside and kept going, only stopping when it hit a wall.

Last September, a City report revealed that the Archer 1200 Anti-Terrorism Vehicle Barrier, manufactured by Pasadena-based Meridian Rapid Defense would provide more protection against vehicle-based acts of terror than water barriers.

“The Archer vehicle barriers will replace the water barriers currently deployed during New Year’s operations,” the police department’s report said. “The Archer barriers provide more protection to floats, spectators, City and Tournament of Roses employees involved with the Rose Parade.”

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